AT&T announced on Monday, January 26th that it will soon provide the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering more than 400 million consumers and businesses in both Mexico and the U.S. In order to accomplish this ambitious plan, the telecom giant is buying Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings for about $1.88 billion (minus debt).
Of note, the AT&T – Nextel Mexico deal is still subject to a bankruptcy auction as well as approvals by a U.S. bankruptcy court, which is currently supervising the ongoing restructuring of NII Holdings. The firm, based in Reston, Virginia, filed for bankruptcy protection back in the fall.
Analysts also point put that the purchase must also be approved by by Mexico’s regulatory agency Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones.
AT&T’s statement on Monday noted the sale is anticipated to be final by the second quarter of 2015.
More on AT&T – Nextel Mexico Deal
As a part of the deal, AT&T will own all the companies that operate under the name Nextel Mexico and will also hold all of the wireless properties in Mexico currently held by NII Holdings Inc. The deal explicitly includes spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and somewhere around 3 million subscribers. Nextel Mexico’s wireless network encompasses close to 76 million people.
The statement highlighted that AT&T is planning to bring Nextel Mexico together with a Mexican wireless provider it acquired a couple of months ago. The firm noted that this will help it to quickly improve and expand its mobile Internet service to users throughout Mexico, especially to individuals who live outside the major cities. The telecom titan also noted in its statement that the acquisition of Nextel Mexico would permit it to establish the first North American Mobile Service area.
AT&T shares were down just slightly in premarket trading Monday after the news.